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University of California Berkeley 



SOLE DISTRIBUTOR IN U.S.A. 
CHAS. H. DANIELS 49 WEST 
55TH STREET, NEW YORK 



HIPS & HAWS 

POEMS BY A. E. COPPARD 




THE GOLDEN COCKEREL PRESS 

WALTHAM SAINT LAWRENCE 

BERKSHIRE : ENGLAND 

MCMXXII 



except two of these pieces hcCve appeared since 
1 9 1 6 in the following journals: Spectator, London 
Mercury, Monthly Chapbook, Westminster 
Gazette, Nation, The Apple, The Egoist, 
Coterie, Voices and English Review. A. K. c. 



PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN 



Any application for permission to reproduce poems 
from this book should be addressed to the Publishers 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

TRUANT 9 

THE HORSE IO 

THE WAY TO TIPPERARY I I 

THE STREAMS 12 

THE LOCK 13 

THE ORACLE 14 

ECLIPSE 1 5 

THE SAPLING I 6 

STORM ON THE HEATH I 8 

COUNTRY SABBATH 2O 

THE BRIDE 21 

GEOGRAPHY ON THE JEw's HARP 22 

ANDANTE 24 

SUMMER NIGHT'S RAIN 25 

A CAROL FOR MARGARET CHESTER 26 

THE OBSEQUIES 28 

THE GLORIOUS SURVIVORS 29 
-THE YOUNG MAN UNDER THE WALNUT TREE 30 

YOKOHAMA GARLAND 32 

THE TWO NUDE VIRGINS 34 

SIMPLE DAY 35 

THE ANTIC SHRINE 36 

38 
40 

THE WHITE STONE 42 

THE DEAD GARDEN 43 

THE PRODIGAL SON 44 



TO 
WINIFRED TUDOR OWEN 



Truant 

HIDE all your snares, vain town 
Gilded with cross and crown, 
Lest your foul streams deter 
The day's new worshipper. 

Break in my heart, O chains, 
Your self-inflicted pains, 
And every shackle fall 
From me for good and all. 

Let the grey dawn propose 
Conjunction with the rose, 
And the blue noon fulfil 
Indolently its will. 

Where the warm vales repeat 
The ecstacy of heat, 
And the slow forest heaves 
In transport all its leaves, 

I can uplift my eyes 
To th* enduring paradise, 
And cast white flames in the air 
Of proud unsecret prayer. 



The Horse 

WHO comes from far away, what old grey man, 
Into these coloured fields where the verdure flows 
Dimpled and sweet? 

Unshackling gates and pinning them again 

He comes with a bag of corn, 

With gentle gesture comes 

To con the agued horse that mourns by the waterside 

Unprofitably sick. 

He pours before that wreck, 

Its shrivelled clay sharpened with acrid bones, 

A bag of teasing oats; 

The wind tosses the husks in yellow rain to the sky, 

Where the pied lapwings turning in the noon 

Twinkle like daylight stars. 

The horse bites not, bends not, moves not, 

It stands like stone, 

Though its stone shadow shakes in the wrinkled waves 

That move one way, 

And its anguish is nudged by the blown shadow of clouds 

That move another. 

Meek old man, 

It will bite no more, it will leap no more, 
It will lie down in the rich summer grasses 
And today or tomorrow it will abandon you. 



10 



The Way to Tipperary 

WHAT are these passengers that stray about the road 
Undriven, unbereft 
Of their ease and sweet of the world ! 

One time it is hens, hesitant, 

With blink of the furtive eye and snap of the bill; 

Or lambs trotting; 

And there's a gallant young gander. 

The pig grunts, 

The ass brays, 

The dog snarls, 

The bullock pauses, 

But my courage abides and I pass on. 

And on either hand 

The fields gather up their grace, 

The forest calls with the grandeur of its deep voice, 

The hills toss the smoke from their temples, 

And I salute them 

Salute them with my farewell. 

Is the lot of a man this only for ever: 
To be saying goodbye to beauty? 
Could I turn myself into a pig or a tree, 
To what should I say goodbye? 



II 



The Streams 

HIDDEN by sweet bushes, where blooms an acacia tree, 
Let a river be turning among its rocks; 
I would sit on the bridge and think my thoughts 
The red streams of my heart to be going about 
In riot among the rocks of the mind, 
And to be cloven by them 
Until the light was smitten from the hills, 
And little splashing stars 
Were come to be walking with the moon. 

Now in this quiet house, 

The door and the half door bolted, 

The woman with down-fallen hair smiles strangely towards me: 

The clock is ticking, 

The bird hops in its cage, 

The child stirs not from its slumber: 

Beautiful are her glances to me 

As she lights the tall candle. 



12 



E 



The Lock 

ASY is unhappiness, difficult is joy: 



The word of the lark is flowing out of the sky, 

The duck goes about her swimming, 

The dace at the eyot, 

The lily and the oak, 

Utter their comeliness: 

But heavy is the lock upon the door. 

They have withdrawn to some malignant altar 

The delicate fair body of love, 

The coral laughter and the peacock wings 

The lily-woven breasts, 

All its infrangible signs 

Scarred with the wounds of anger; 

And they have sealed up their capricious grove 

With all its terrible bars 

With wards of iron and with tongues of flint 

Till they have beaten with their whips, 

Till their imperial chalices are full, 

Till the gods receive 

Their ultimate harvests, 

Though the word of the lark is flowing out of the sky 

Easy is unhappiness, difficult is joy. 



The Oracle 

NIGHT has come truly now, 
And delicately starred. 
The ancient songs of evening cease 
In the cloaked thickets, 
The gabble of the pasture is given over, 
Recumbent are the herds 
And the ewes. 

A golden-breasted dove, the yellow moon, sits in the elm 
Confronting me. 

O yellow moon in the elm 
Why is love's course 
Less brief than honour's? 



A 



Eclipse 
LL these things: 

The hum of gnats in the thorn, 

The wild bee's hymn, 

The tongues of the oak sighing. 



And sainfoin lying on the old pasture like a Paisley shawl, 
The caterpillar cocoon like a purse of wax on the briar, 
The crown of a forest flowing like slow sea, 
The mute triumphant languor of the grass. 

I lie in a nook of bloom, 

In the shadowed interval between turf and tree 

For the swart sky is all one arch of brass 

Over a ridge of granite. 

And a lark is speaking to close heaven: 

Not of God and his judgments, 

Yielding no victory, taking no passionate blame, 

Nor of the rack of the world, 

Nor of love whose anguish is far deeper than its boon; 

But he speaks only 

Of honied hills and places of green peace. 

Then, O then 

Smoke of shot in the glade, 
The stricken dove! 



The Sapling 

To Agnts Q. Evans. 

THE little acacia has begun to bloom, 
There are five sprigs upon each of its five boughs, 
And a bully finch within this very hour 
Has hopped upon each one sagaciously, 
Beholding them with pleasure 
And meditating fitly. 

No, 

Lean little acacia, 

Laggard unthrift tree, 

I do not think the finch 

Will choose the best of your attenuate boughs 

To cram a nest of tidiness with eggs, 

Dumpy and five; 

One careful bird may dare upon your pride 

What six would lap with ruin. 

O patient spiritless twig 

Your fellows in the garden, 

Those rods that will be roses, 

Those buds that will be plums, 

Or blossom into pear, 

The rolling lilac, and the tulip high 

That flames with holy bloom, 

Regard you not, 

All these, all these, regard you not at all. 

And yet, O yet, some frosty morn may rise 
To harry them with wind, and heap 
Snow upon the laburnums. 
Some day of brass may dawn, 

16 



The fiery sun 

Plying an arduous sickle 

To reap them into limbo. 

Or on some frantic night 

The moon, 

Slim lilac Venus, 

May drop upon their pride 

Despisingly. 

Wherefore, little acacia I'm sorry about that bird 
You shall not covet bloom nor branch, the sum 
Of distant joys is yours, is in you: 
There arc more things in the earth, my dear acacia, 
Than are apparent, as yet, in your economy. 



Storm on the Heath 

SURELY the body of night will die in this storm, 
Dark wounded night be slain in its own tempest! 
Calamity, the prodigious beast, 
Sharpens its claw of thunder, 
Its mouthing darkness gnashes from the skies; 
Frighted with iron roars 
The earth itself will shrink into the sea. 

Windily these havocs, 

Athwart the unrigid gulfs of firmament, 

In dissonant fugues collide, 

And, like trapped furies, flash upon the heath. 

The few trees are doomed, 

Thin-bodied birds may cleave to their racks in the hedges 

But the larch will fall. 

If there were stars 

They would be torn from their pivots, 

The moon tossed from her giant anchor; 

But the blown blackness of earth and sky 

Hangs up a wall, 

A roaring gloom imponderable, 

Till earth from sky cannot be dissevered. 

Two thick yellow stars, 

The gig lanterns, 

Emerge; 

The dark wall closes solidly behind them; 

The faint clack clack of the cob 

Driven so late to the mill 

Follows fadingly, 

And fades. 

18 



Now, like a suffering bride, 

Night forbears to contend; 

Passion is dying, it will surely die. 

Tomorrow the heath will bloom with modest beams, 

Again with modest beams, 

Tranquil, unpeccant, lovely and benign, 

Its nooks strewn with cones from the fallen larch 

And a few thin-bodied finches that will sing no more. 



Country Sabbath 

WHY does he loaf in his garden, 
That rich man, 
Looking so idly into the air? 

The huge uprearing sky has a million lures: 
The wind connives at its coy mischief, 
Dust is gone upon curtains of visible air, 
The unreluctant elm is passionately tossed, 
And seven pale doves are thrown like stars 
Under the black cloud. 

Servant of grief and bereavement, 

A poor crude female, 

Bowed and uncomely mourns upon the road 

Trundling a bassinette filled with a fat pink child; 

As snug as honey in wards of wax it lies, 

The flesh growing rosily upon it, 

The fat making its pleasant curves. 

Under the elm the mourning women loiter, under the cloud, 

And at the porch of the Baptist chapel 

Where the invoking choir perfunctorily drones 

Of* Jesus, blessed Jesus!' 

She tarries long in sadness and humility. 

Why does he not leave looking in the sky, 

That rich man? 

Are there not in the garden 

Primroses and broccoli, 

And an arbour of woven willow? 



20 



The Bride 

I COULD not look into those eyes; 
I could not see with my own eyes at all 
The silver body, 
Nor the hair of musk 
That honied venture of a mind 
Whose thoughts are snow white birds, 
Their wings moving with music, 
Their voices 
Flutes in the amorous dusk. 

Those purposed raptures, 
Delicate things of doom, 
They die on the empty air, 
They flame and die, 

mute invisible bride, 
They pass from the lips of God 

Like drops fall'n from the bill of a drinking bird, 

1 too, 

I too shall lapse 

Into the loom of the grass 

When time and vain eternity instal 

Their daft horizons, and I yield 

To them the irrelevant victory. 

But what word, what word oracular, 

Shall be heard in the terraces then? 

To what remembered twilight will you come, 

O mute invisible bride? 



geography on the Jew's Harp 
C/, what is Eldorado, then? 

It is a town of truthful men 

Who puff into the firmament 

The pluming pipes of sweet content, 

Till maps of the sky enchanted glow 

With continents of piled snow, 

Towers and celestial palaces, 

Wherein the venturing Quixote sees 

Trim shapes of laughing girls that dance 

Unveiled before him. Half askance 

He from those dithyrambic skies 

Averts the shadow of his eyes 

And, kicked on his unrejoicing hams 

With sevenfold everlasting dams, 

Explores for Eldorado where 

The gifts of God are seemlier: 

In Oskaloosa, Thame, Tamboff, 

In Bath, for instance, Chickakoff, 

The Grindstone Island, Alabama, 

Ypsilanti, Yokohama 

For all these marvellous names refer 

To Master Lloyd his register, 

Though some as patently I drew 

From Bacon or Bartholomew. 

But Eldorado's holy sign 

Is neither north nor south the Line, 

In Joppa, Lampeter, nor Cork, 

The Gulf of Guinea, Sneem, New York. 

'Twas told to me by curious people 

The sign was lodged beneath a steeple, 

22 



And that sublime extravagance 
Led me many a devilish dance 
For neither half o* the hemisphere 
Housed Eldorado anywhere. 
I much fear these simple races 
Avert themselves from our bad places, 
And in the zones above our hats 
Go chanting long magnificats. 
O that some heavenly Baedeker, 
With suave propitiating purr 
Soliciting large benefits 
For Saginaw or Biarritz, 
Would by discreet parenthesis 
Discover where the lost town is! 

Behind his golden unlocked gates 
The King of Eldorado waits, 
But not in Cutch, nor Chittaboon, 
Burnham Beeches, Saskatoon, 
Ord of Caithness he'd prefer 
Kalamazoo to Axminster 
Port of Peter, Port of Spain, 
Round the world, and round again, 
Stow-on-the-Wold, Chicago, quick ! 
Kirjath-jearim, Hackney Wick 

Avast, avast there, having curled, 
Like the equator, round the world, 
Vex not its truthless disarray: 
World without end, belay! belay! 



Andante 

NOW dusk, now sleep, 
The night with honied sleep, 
Deep drowned sleep. 

But the nimble stars 

Noursle and poise and yearn, and in the mere 
Drop their white buds to honour that gradual horn, 
Whose mute cadenzas now so whitely rise. 

In dove-delighting woods the limber bough 

Unshakes its chrism of dew. 

Sways not the lilied stem, 

The rose not sways; 

But the wind's unknown thoughts among the cocksfoot grasses 

In tranquil litanies mingle and mourn and wane. 

No song so soft but yet these reedy lips 

More softly sigh. 

No night so dark but yet its lovely glooms 

Enrich the strange trees. 

No star so dim but yet its crystal eye 

Glimmers with salutations. 

The eyeing heavens 
Noursle and poise and yearn, 
And like a silent passionate woman 
Earth, the beloved, lies but does not sleep. 



Summer Right's 

THIS shower thrown from the air 
Is brief and beautiful as the marriage tears of a virgin 
When night has come, 
Night like a shagged old maid 
Come to unsuit the bride. 

Honied is the heart of the orchard 

Loosening its tired blooms: 

Their flakes of silence fall 

Like the delicate feet of dreams 

That leave a magical sweetness in the world. 

The flag's wide lips are locked; 

The breasts are cold 

Of dissolute roses dying in the briar. 

Now the shower fades on the breeze, the night fulfils 
With sharp unwrinkled stars. 
Come moon, loving moon, behind your secret hill 
Wounding with white wonder the attentive sky. 



A Carol for Margaret Chester 

, Notf, ding dong, 
the bell of the Holy Dawn; 
T>ing 'Dong, flickering in madrigals. 

'Ding dong, No'e'l, ding dong, 

Come and adore Him. 

The ox turns from its crib, 

The fish that swims in water clear 

Hangs like a dream, 

The starling chuckles in the thorn, 

The goose is smoothing its breast, 

All for the Little Boy that is to look after the sheep. 

'Ding dang, Noel, ding dong. 

The cockerels upon the axle perched 

The white cock that crows 

And the red cock that fights 

Let down their comforted claws, 

All for the Little Boy that is to look after the sheep j 

But the gold cock that flutters and spins 

Still sleeps in the wind. 



'Ding dang, ^ojl^ ding dong. 

Strange shepherds, old shepherds, 

Shepherds from reed-roofed pens, 

Come over the hill, 

'Ding dongy 

With milk and honey and blackbirds baked in a pie. 

'Ding dongy O^ojly ding dong. 

The falling crumbs gladden the thin mice, 

Who are but three and blind as any stone, 

Lodging in a round black hole under the manger. 

26 



Blow your horn, come, blow your horn, 

Here hovers the trembling star! 

Light the fire, light the fire, 

Those lost wise people coming in from the fen 

Are covered with white frore dew, 

And the sky leans cold as the curved sails of a ship! 

Carols the blacksmith's anvil, 

Ching . . . ching . . . ching . . . ching, 

And the bells of the Holy dawn 

Dong ding . . . dong ding . . . dong ding, 

Flicker in madrigals, 

All for the Little Boy that is to look after the sheep. 



'Ding dong, 

"Ding dong, Ngl, 
"Ding dong, 

'Ding . . . dong! 



The Obsequies 

MARCH not so slowly, you compassionate soldiers, 
With guns slanting to earth; 
Pass quickly, fifes and drums, 
Nor mock with deliberate stride 
The eager wings of death, 
The querulous pace of the living. 

Hurry, O hurry, you, hurry him away, 

This captain who was once an ironmonger, 

Into that shocking grave. 

Cease, deep bell ; 

Horror has fall'n upon him like a bolt, 

And all the ardours that encompassed him 

Are faint with those wreathes, those wreathes. 

Pass quickly desolate drums, reluctant fifes, 
Stabbing with practised melancholy 
This bright uncomprehending world. 
Sad soldiers, with your grave-denoting guns, 
Pass on, pass on. 



The (glorious Survivors 

WE like you, Glorious Dead : 
You are so amiable, amenable. 
For two moments a year 
We share your creditable silence, 
It is so profitable and so profound, 
You help us to think thoughts peaceful and holy, 
And we are dumb, 
Ecstatically insane. 

But you, Insuperable Residuum, 

What is to be done with you 

Who died a threefold death and yet survive? 

You are anachronisms, 

Unpeaceable things like Russians and Irishmen. 

Do not speak of ideals, do not shout of triumph, 

(Before whose smoking gun 

Bloodless as a reed the dead one lies): 

No one has ever seen a vision without fear, 

And we who are whole need not to see visions, 

We need only peace and humility. 

Once having lived the life of the dead 

Why can't you hawk your collar studs in silence 

And vend your matches with a meeker air? 

We can praise, O devoutly we can praise 

The glorious death of the dead, 

But the death of the living why should we magnify? 

If we cannot think our peaceful and holy thoughts 

We must vomit; 

And remember, 

We have truncheons for you, guns for you, 

Ah, we can give you bayonets and beans! 



29 



The young Man under the Walnut Tree 

OBSERVE the rotund galleries of this walnut tree, 
Its shales of dull stiff wax 

Ushering a pool of air, a pool and a green pavilion, 
Wherein, sweet tyrant sun, the majesty of shade 
Dips a forefinger gilded with your bloom 
To paint her modest brows. 

Behold the wimpling rye, 

The ewes, the poppies steeped in flagrant sun, 

Silent, silent, silent; but the lark 

Flying as it sings, singing only as it flies, 

Spices with diamond noise the gleaming air. 

O golden world, that in your glorious dust 

Treasures the trick of Being, 

How we, all credulous, obey you! 

We are but the habits of the earth, 

Its passion for similitude, 

For forms and forms again and forms. 

This fond bereavement from oblivion, 

This thrusting of pale buds from out the branching darkness, 

Was once with langour, with besieging sleep, 

Lapped like a dream within a dream 

Till life, life in a splendid pause, 

Began its crepitation, 

Broke into form, engendering from the dust, 

Walnuts and things like me, 

This clutching honeysuckle drunken-fumed, 

The blind newt moving, 

And martins marvellous in the sky. 



O wild sweet dust 

Dreaming the unsleeping dream 

Of flagrant poppy, honeysuckle, breeze, 

Bird in the rye, earth, life, oblivion, 

From you we follow and flow, 

To you we falter and fall, 

For you are full of love, 

Love that is born of wonder and dies on the empty air. 

But love shall have days of honour, 
Ere the defeat of love, 
And fine nights to dream in 
Her deep bed of rest. 



I 



Yokohama garland 

BEGGED my young love to meet me, 
But she would not come. 



She has a jacket of blue velvet 

That in a dim room looks like evening sky, 

There are buttons of glass upon it, 

Her yellow cap is plumed with a coiling feather; 

But of her own beauty, 

Tinge of brow, tender eye, modest tongue, 

Let speech be diffident: 

What the voice cannot utter fills the mind with echoes. 

I waited, but she did not come; 

I begged my love but she, in fear of me, 

Denied not nor consented. 

There is a folly in fear that has no fear of folly, 

'Tis true, ungentle love. 

Pride and its circumstance 

Tie a pert sinew to much barren bone; 

The laughter of her companions, 

The scorn of her father 

Whose apothegms hopped about us like truculent fleas, 

Was gall to that wound of fear. 

Her elderly brother's grand appearance shamed me, 

Tho he had much to hide and so little to disclose. 

Her young sister loved me kindly 

With tenderness that waved about me like faint lilac, 

A heaven immediate; 

But the desire in my love's own breast, 

Quiet as a bird in its sanctuary bush, 

Hid and was mute, alien, trembling, chill. 



I begged my young love to meet me, 

But she did not come: 

Deep down, slow sun, your arc of beauty shone 

On unseen stars and heavens no eye beholds 

Now or for ever; day's last bird rejoiced; 

Night came, the shepherd moon, the coy flock, 

And a bat with trickling flight above the dim road; 

My heart was a hesitant moth that fluttered by a lighted door. 

The half-moon, cold and placid as a virtue, 

Surveyed me with its adamantine eye; 

The stars poured out their glow serene and jubilant 

Upon my empty world, my world 

Void as time was but like time's self complacent, 

So endlessly complacent 

That I longed for heaven to crack to its own last judgment, 

The moon to become a dancing triangle 

Or a flaring oven to scorch this crawling orb, 

Instead of that dumb flame in chalice of blue oil. 

I had a rose, a heavy crimson thing 
I got from the farrier's mate for a screw of tobacco: 
I crushed the clumsy flower in a hole in a wall 
And left it there. 

O innocence and beauty 

That I can never speak of without tears, 

Long I have waited 

But you do not come. 



33 



The two ?N^ude Virgins 

NO. 
I will not go into the moonlight 
Lest some infinite thing enwrap me; 
I will not move beyond the threshold, 
I will wait in the calm shadow of the door, 
And hear the sweet air 
Using the oleanders 
Lightly 
And with love. 

Diana cannot hear them 

Though she stands whitely among them, 

Most white of all things, 

Beside the dark urn. 

She is covered with dew, 

Her arm is shrouding her breasts 

From the ardour of the moon. 

She is lovely, 

And she has no fear 

Being hunched in stone. 

Shall I go out to her ? 

I would take her into my arms. 
Shall I just go 

And cool my palms in the urn 
And put them on my brow? 

I will not go, 

I will wait in the calm shadow of the door. 

Perhaps 

34 



Simple T)ay 

IN this wind's following there is an unknown richness, 
A breathing mysterious bloom, 
Not gorse nor may nor hyacinth nor herb; 
No man could name that perfume. 

The white flowers living in this field 

Stare at the sky; in the field beyond 

There are yellow flowers that nod wisely to the turf: 

And that is all. 

But yes, there are clouds in the sky, soft rocks, 

The sunlight pounds them like an axe, 

The wind through its couch of blue 

Divides, diminishes and harries them, 

And innocence, perceiving this, rejoices: 

For though the wind has no colour, 

The sky no smell, 

The earth no speech, 

They survive and accomplish justice. 



35 



The Antic Shrine 

IF she will not receive me, well, that is to be borne; 
There is basking in sunshine, 
And the bland comity of the grass; 
The lustre of winged beetles 

Those pearls without price on pins of random weed 
Enchants and alleviates; 
The brocading flowers 

Tender their pale monotonies of assuagement, 
The coated may-tree puts 
Her cushion of soft odour into the air; 
I can listen to birds and observe the laburnums. 

O but these charmed airs live but to enslave me; 

The thickets bud again 

With prongs of snow-pale blossom, sheaves of thorn, 

And gilded salley nodding with muzzy drops: 

My banished thoughts confuting me 

Slip through this chink of time; 

The old unravelled wonder, 

Like a bandit bee with booty-groping eye, 

Pursues me and entreats; 

Hope's veiled prophecies cajole once more 

The unloved lover to her antic shrine 

Pillars of dust, 

Walls of water, 

Rafters of roving air. 

O rare faint-fingered lightning 

Let fall upon our towers 

No more your tyrannous flame! 

Let me be void as this air, 

Empty of all but my arrogant will to live on, 

To live on. 

36 



I love best to lie in the sun 

Looking at winged beetles. 

Beautiful! But are they beautiful? 

Even the wing of a butterfly is much like the fin of a cod. 



37 



The Innkeeper s Handkerchiefs 

THIS is Daniel, keeper of inns, 
Almost as old as evil, as weak as honesty, 
Silent as implacable distance; 
He has no more conversation than a gourd, 
His thoughts are remote as a meridian; 
He does not see a cross in the sky, 
And the ironical question 
Which death may dissolve but not elucidate 
Provokes him not, his heart will never break 
Against that wandering citadel. 
Well, the world is a mirror in which God sees himself. 

This Daniel, keeper of inns, 

Sags on his Windsor chair 

In a room above his barrels; 

Facing his own deep hearth 

He sags on the windsor chair 

In a long fidelity of silence, 

Letting stiff silence slake itself in him 

Until the divine alarum shall signify 

That Daniel goes to judgment, 

Wrapped in the just sufficient earth that chains 

Alike the heart of Caesar and Bill Brown. 

The mantel-shelf proclaims his faith in time, 

For two clocks there divide 

Hour from dull hour: 

One dark and tall, with uncouth bell, 

In a cabinet that towers among the dark rafters, 

And one with a yellow face and small, 

The face of a marigold, 

And a tinkled hour: 

They do not tick together but they tell the same time. 

38 



There is nothing in this old man, keeper of inns, 

He exudes nonentity. 

He does not mourn, he docs not mourn for youth, 

That vessel of inutile hungers 

With a virtue in every vein, 

That lissom shadow dogged by a bodily shade. 

He mourns not past or future, 

Nothing, he has nothing to mourn, 

Neither the lapse of days 

Nor the plague of memories, 

Blames misincurred and ecstacies foregone, 

Voided, unrecked, dissolved, 

Times that pressed honey upon him when the tongue was sour 

Or gall when the tongue was sweet. 

There is nothing in this old man, keeper of inns. 

If the day be cold 

Daniel stares in the fire with dying eyes, 

Listening to emptiness with dying ears; 

Ambition ease or truth, malice affliction love, 

Move him no more at all, 

The tower of this old man 

Is propped no longer by such crooked pins; 

Only upon his knees 

Forever rests a coloured handkerchief 

To staunch the rheum that jets in his gross eye; 

It is a red handkerchief. 

So also if the day be warm : 

He squats in the self place 

Fronting an empty hob 

And the tapping clocks that disinter his doom; 

He wipes his forehead with a handkerchief 

That lies in his lap for half an hour or more; 

It is a blue handkerchief. 

39 



Midwinter Right's T>ream 

BLACK night is thronged, 
Wind-fluttered stars 
Heap the bewildered air with rippling garnets. 

Tossing, perplexing, 

Vast glooms confound the world; 

The tidal winds rack and recede; 

The whelmed forest lies on its own floor 

Consumed in powerful orisons; 

Low, like mourning love, 

The spruce is sighing 

And the cypress sighs. 

Black lovely world, 

Your absconding oracle smokes in this dewless wind, 

Sweeps in my gleaning spirit! 

I will kiss free your rapture. 

My tongue, speak delicately of her secret. 

Thronged black sky, 

Target that Nimrod's bolt has notched with blemishes of ice, 

Felicity marks each star, 

And not too lonely hangs our heaven; 

Far-gleaming Aldebaran, 

Galaxy's opulent wave, 

The Dioscuri like a falling shaft, 

Proclaim a generous league; 

August and holy 

The Immanent Motive hangs vestigial signs! 

Signs . . . signs . . . what are these signs 

Whose tacit wonders I would dare unfold? 

Signs . . . signs . . . signs . . . signs . . . 

40 



Can I reveal, in all these vocal glooms, 
And mock the Recumbent Archer? 
What sterile dreams are these! 
Return, my fancy, to the uncouth air; 
I cannot bruit you now, 
Now, in this place . . . 

how the wind comes like a cleaving sword! 

1 do not want to lift myself to those stars, 
Those condoning stars, 

Whose vicissitudes tremble like a child's tin top 

Around a compliant axle; 

For the golden lamp of my cottage beckons return 

Tis a more sovran eye; 

My mate lies in her bed 

In a shift of green silk . . . 

A dove, a tender dove . . . 

Her small breasts droop like two young moons, 

Her eyelids are like shells that have lain in dew. 



Tfa White Stone 

SHE was not wise, nor lovelier in her bearing 
Than a smooth white stone; 
The swallow does not flash among the showers, 
The flower not spring from the leaf, 
The foam not fall from the wave, 
Less wise than she, more fair than she; 
But love is not beauty though it is beautiful, 
Nor beauty love though it is loveliness. 
Come you no more, sing low, spring not at all, 
Flower wave and bird 
My cold white stone is lost. 

But time's most ancient tributary stream, 

Love in its gliding brook, 

Still moves in a single true direction, 

Moves to its home in her breast 

Whose love has abandoned me; 

So, through wild slubbering fields, 

The ramp of toad and coney thistle and dock, 

A dyke's clear water creeps 

Beneath the sallows and the clustering crab 

Where mothering birds utter their tender cries. 



The "Dead Qardtn 

LIKE a cold body 
Dead is my garden. 
Its sodden furrows affront me, 
The beet has gone to seed, 
The pea-flower's tangle hangs in rusty husks; 
Wise-mouthed birds have stripped my hedge 
Of the haw's blossom of beads 
And the trinket buds in the bramble. 

A lost foxhound watches me from the road; 
I stand so still, he woos me with grave eyes. 

Little enough of succour is here 

To cheer him. 

Little enough is in my heart 

Of brightness. 

Flocks of quivering winds move in the mild sky, 

And the swift birds of twilight 

Have gone silently over the hill; 

They will sleep in the white pit 

That is solaced with dark briars; 

I would that all my thoughts could follow those evening birds 

And my woes be as dumb. 

Death is a journeyman god, 

He has never moved my devotions; 

But for all his contracted hours 

That lie uncancelled in eternity 

I would surrender these my ambiguous days: 

For there is something that lives here within me, 

Diffident, sombre, 

Whose tears of tranquillity have long ceased to flow. 

43 



The Prodigal Son 

WHEN I forsook my homely town 
And bade my luck goodbye. 
The lord of freedom flung me down 

His sweet scourge from the sky; 
But all the passionate winds ordained 

His purpose to fulfil 
Blew to a burning goal ungained, 
Left me my idle will. 

Sad are the harvests I amass, 

And empty of all grain; 
Thickens the dust upon the grass 

No dews shall wash again ; 
Nought can unclog the unconfined 

From pride so falsely kept, 
Nor from my void but living mind 

May its dead dreams be swept. 

Ten thousand finer dreams of sleep, 

And old songs sweet to hear, 
Mock at my anguish as I keep 

My journeying otherwhere; 
I would not heed one kingly frown, 

Or yet bequeath one sigh, 
Had I not left my shining town, 

Nor bade my heart goodbye. 



44 



THE SEVENTH BOOK PRINTED AT 
THE GOLDEN COCKEREL PRESS. 
THIS EDITION OF 20 COPIES NUM- 
BERED I. TO XX. SIGNED BY THE 
AUTHOR & 480 OTHER COPIES FOR 
SALE NUMBERED 21 TO 500 
FINISHED MARCH 
1922 



NUMBER